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When the White House announced last week it would be losing the services of Lewis A. Sachs, one of the president’s top economic advisers, the reason given for Sachs’s departure was that his work was largely complete. “He’s leaving now that markets have stabilized and Secretary [Timothy] Geithner has had time to set up a permanent team,” Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams said.
But Sachs’s quiet exit, reported in a blog entry on the New York Times web site, comes without any apparent next move for the Wall Street veteran, except for what he told the Times was his desire for time to “catch up on some sleep.”
Not factoring into the decision, Williams said, were recent reports suggesting Sachs’s old employer could be the subject of a federal probe. A December Times report said federal officials were then in the early stages of an investigation into companies that sold a complex breed of securities known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.’s, and then made financial bets against them.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”